Historical Temples in Bangalore

Temples in Bangalore


Historical temples of Bengaluru

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple

Gavi Gangadhareshwara TempleThis 9th century monolithic Shiva temple, inside a cave in Gavipuram ( off Bull Temple Road), was renovated by Kempe Gowda in the 16th century in gratitude for being released from his five-year incarceration by Rama Raya. Monolithic pillars of the Surya Pana ( Sun), Chandra Pana ( Moon), Damuru ( drum) and Trishul ( trident) are in the court yard. Unique to this temple is the rare idol of Agni ( Fire God) with 2 heads, 7 hands and 3 legs. The 2 main shrines are dedicated to Lord Gangadhareshwara and Goddess Honnadevi. Crowds throng the temple during Makara Sankranti on 14th or 15th of January to witness the rare phenomenon of the Sun's rays passing through the horns of the Nandi ( bull) thereby illuminating the Shivaling inside the shrine, for an hour between 5 pm - 6 pm. The monolithic structures in what was once a vast open courtyard were used to mark the summer and winter solstices which were significant astronomical events. Repeated extensions of the temple and the growth of vegetation and development around the site have now destroyed the purpose by blocking the shadow formation during solstices. This is a classic example of a heritage lost to unmindful renovation.

Halasuru Someshwara Temple

Ulsoor Someshwara TempleThis temple was built by the Hoysalas between the 12th and 13th centuries in Ulsoor. It was renovated and beautified by the Kempe Gowda I and II in the 16th century and is a mixture of Hoysala, Chola and Vijayanagara architecture. Shiva being the main deity, Vishnu and Brahma are also worshipped over here. The other deities housed here are Kamakshamma, Arunachaleswara, Bhimeswara, Nanjundeswara and Panchalingeswara. The elaborately carved pillars are said to produce sounds of musical instruments when tapped. In April 2010, an old Kalyani ( pond) was excavated near this temple. Maha Shivratri, Brahmotsava and Kamakshamma Pallaki Utsav ( palanquin festival) are the 3 main annual festivals celebrated here.

Dharmarayaswamy Temple

Dharmaraya Swamy TempleThis temple older than 800 years, located in the City Market, is believed to be built by the Ganga Dynasty kings. It is dedicated to the 5 Pandavas and Krishna. Architecture of the garbhagruha is of Ganga style, the vimana gopura is of Pallava style and that of the mukha mantapa in Vijayanagar style. The 4 towers of Kempe Gowda are found to geometrically intersect in the Vimana Gopura Kalasa of this temple. The annual Karaga festival performed by the Veera Kumaras of the Thigala community with elaborate rituals, is a crowd pulling event in Bangalore. Alagu Sevai is a popular ritual, where the Veera Kumaras strike their bare chests with swords.

Kote Prasanna Venkataramana Swamy Temple

Kote Venkataramanaswamy TempleThis picturesque temple, located in K.R.Road adjacent to Tipu Sultan's Summer palace, was built in the 17th century around the period of Chickadevaraya Wodeyar, the ruler of Mysore, who had leased the city of Bengaluru from the Mughal empire. The prefix Kote ( fort) is due to its proximity to the Tipu's Fort which once enclosed his summer palace. Venkataramana ( Vishnu), is the main deity. The architecture is of Dravidian style. The flowery stone pillars which are supported by lion brackets have imprints of the cannon balls which struck during the Third Anglo Mysore war, when the British forces captured Tipu's Fort and Palace. The temple attracts a large number of devotees on Vaikunta Ekadashi, the most auspicious day for Vaishnavites.

Bhoganandheeshwara Temple

Bhoganandheeshwara TempleSituated in the Nandi village at the foothills of Nandi Hills, this 9th century temple complex consists of three shrines dedicated to Arunachaleshwara (childhood), Uma Maheshwara (wedding) and Bhoganandheeshwara (youth). Yoga Nandeeshwara atop Nandi Hills depicts the final renunciation stage.There is a beautiful Kalyani ( square stepped tank) called Shringi Tirtha, known to be the source of the Pinakini (South Pennar) river. The temple is believed to have been built by the Bana Queen Ratnavali. Since the region was ruled by the Cholas, Gangas, Hoysalas, Pallavas and then the Vijayanagara kings, the architecture reveals possible renovations of all styles. Newly wed couples visit this temple to take the blessings of Shiva and Parvati.